Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno is coming back to TV. CNBC is giving him a new primetime series tentatively titled Jay Leno’s Garage, based on his Emmy-winning web series. CNBC is counting on Jay Leno’s “tremendous fan base and his passion for the subject” to boost ratings. Leno certainly has the passion – he owns 886 vehicles (769 automobiles and 117 motorcycles) and is never shy about showing them off in downtown LA. He even writes a regular column for Popular Mechanics.
The problem is Leno’s web series has just 1 million subscribers. That’s not a lot. The young funny duo Smosh has 19 million subscribers. YouTube web star Bethany Mota (who’s now on Dancing With the Stars) has 7.4 million. Will driving cool old cars and motorcyles be enough to draw in a crowd? Seinfeld should be the first to tell his friend Leno, no. Seinfeld is crazy about cars too but he doesn’t go on and on about them. He rather gush with fellow funnymen (including Leno!) in his hit web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. His vintage cars are just part of the show format– Seinfeld picks up each guest comedian in a different vintage car, and then they go have coffee and crack each other up. That’s what people expect from comedians — to laugh. Btw, Comedians in Cars has been renewed for FIVE more seasons. The fifth season will premiere on November 6, 2014. Guess which former Tonight Show host will be a guest.